As should come as a surprise to no one, Saint Laurent sales are still booming three years after Hedi Slimane took the creative reins. And in the third quarter of 2015, the Kering-owned brand truly outdid itself, posting a sales increase of 37 percent on a reported basis and 27 percent on a comparable basis. Sales were particularly strong in Saint Laurent's own stores — up 32 percent there, marking the brand's strongest quarter to date for retail, according to Kering CFO Jean-Marc Duplaix. The brand's wholesale sales weren't bad either — up 17 percent while they declined by 3 percent for the group overall.
While overshadowed a bit by Saint Laurent's gangbusters success, Gucci is also starting to build momentum under new Creative Director Alessandro Michele (pronounced Mee-kell-ay, according to Duplaix, who said the name during Thursday afternoon's earnings webcast). The designer's cruise collection filtered into stores in mid-September and sales are up a respectable 9 percent on a reported basis, while they remained flat on a comparable basis. This is still a good sign, as it follows a period of declining sales for the brand. Duplaix was particularly proud that the brand's wholesale business decreased only 6 percent, a much smaller decrease than in previous periods.
Aside from Saint Laurent and Gucci, we were also curious about the progress at Balenciaga following the sudden departure of Creative Director Alexander Wang. Kering provided few details on that front, but did say its leather goods performance was "solid."